May 25 - Participate: Neo-Luddites or Technocrats?
Thread poster: Claudia Brauer

Claudia Brauer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:22
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 14, 2013

Neo-Luddites or Technocrats?

In the world of translators and interpreters, the wrong decision may lead to an extinct profession in a couple of decades.
Read the full article @ http://wp.me/p1MDwG-3f.

Excerpts

I believe that translators and interpreters must quickly adapt to the changing world of the 21st Century or we may become one of the extinct professions in a couple of decades. I believe that translators and interpreters must start to bridge the gaps that have been created between the way we used to do our work just a decade ago, and the way in which the work will be done in the coming decades. I believe that utility is replacing eloquence in the language service industry and that productivity is replacing quality. I believe that in the world of tomorrow – and in many places today – usefulness is replacing expression.

It is my opinion that the associations and other power groups that represent translators and interpreters must start adopting positions that acknowledge the entry of the large software and technology companies in the world of translation and interpreting, as well as the powerful stronghold of other stakeholders in the industry.

In the 19th century, luddites were “weavers in England who were being put out of work by the introduction of machinery and responded by organizing to attack and smash the new machines.” The 21st century Neo-Luddites are “citizens who are opposed to technology not out fear, but rather out of a feeling of superiority over it. They argue against how it is being used and discourage its proliferation.” Some neo-luddites carry out their fight against technology using the same technological tools they are opposing (internet, computers, social media, to name but a few).

There is a big rift in the translation/interpreting industry about the use (or not) of technology, including CAT tools, machine translation, remote video interpreting, phone interpreting and other technologies.

One camp, me included, believes that we have to grow with the times, that we have to use all the technologies available, that we MUST keep up with the times. Moreover, I believe we should have a stronger say in creating that future. The large software industry, including Google and Microsoft, are now investing millions of dollars in developing technologies to make them widely available to the masses. The camp I subscribe to states translators and interpreters must adapt quickly to the changing times and re-define what we do, how we do it and where we do it. We have to redefine who we are in the new millennium in order to remain relevant. I want to be a part of the new professional experience.

The other camp believes that many a thing having to do with technology is "below" a translator and interpreter's intellect and that translators and interpreters should "fight" the software giants that are revolutionizing the industry and that the professionals should take a stand against the use of technology. Their argument is that if translators and interpreters "bow" to technology we will just become gadgets. They have expressed that such participation in the technological and digital revolution will only degrade the profession.

The rift is huge and it is intense.

On May 25th at noon Eastern Standard Time (U.S.), BRAUERTRAINING will host an Open Forum called IN PURSUIT OF ONE VOICE, via Go-To meeting.

The purpose of this first meeting is to hear all suggestions and comments from any translator, association or group, regardless of their affiliation, about how we, the community of translators and interpreters, by some counts 300,000 or more around the world, should move forward. What makes us unique in the 21st Century? How should we participate in the creation of our own future?

Involvement is free by invitation. Go to www.brauertraining.com and register.

Welcome to the future.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not for me May 14, 2013

Sorry, but here's one old leopard whose spots won't be changing anytime soon. Too busy working right now to take issue in any great detail with the assumptions put forward in the excerpts, but let's just say I felt alluded to and slightly patronised.

"Ni regalao"...


 


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May 25 - Participate: Neo-Luddites or Technocrats?

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